The company manufactured harnesses, coaches, hunting carriages, and sledges and the first open box trailers were built from 1927. After that trailer production began, and in the early ʼ30s Johann’s son Franz invented the ball-hitch towbar. (I reckon the idea came to him while having dinner, as it was apparently inspired by the workings of a socket joint of a chicken bone. But I digress.) This invention was so simple yet brilliant that it has remained in use to this day and over the years, Westfalia became well-known throughout Central Europe for the quality of its equipment.
Hold on a minute, I hear you say… this history stuff is all fascinating, but what has it got to do with our little campervan? Well, here’s how the two unlikely partners, Volkswagen and Westfalia, finally came together. It happened in 1951, when a British military officer based in Germany asked for a VW Kombi to be equipped as a home with a small workplace so that he could use it as a mobile field office. VW outsourced the conversion to Westfalia and a partnership between the two companies began. Production began and the orders rolled in. People went mad for these cute little campers – and really, what’s not to love?